WielsTo Wiels this afternoon to see the work of two artists; the American, Tauba Auerbach, and the German, Thomas Bayrle. The title of the Auerbach exhibition, Tetrachromat, refers to a theory that there may be a small percentage of people – for genetic reasons, only women – who have a fourth type of colour receptor on their retinas. The tetrachromat would have an extra variable modulating red, green and blue wavelengths, and would therefore see distinctions between colours that appear the same to the trichromat. I love the idea, but I found it difficult to see what this possibility had to do with the works on show, which mainly consisted of Auerbach’s fold paintings and weave works. Both involve trompe l’oeil effects, which linked up well with the Escher-like effects of many of Thomas Bayrle’s works on display (huge patterns composed from a multitude of tiny, identical patterns). Bayrle was born in 1937 and his work is far more conscious of the post-war periods he has lived through, with tacit commentary on the Wirtschaftswunder and the iconographies of communism, capitalism, fascism, mass production and propaganda. Auerbach’s work, which seeks to ‘collapse traditional distinctions between image, dimensionality and content’ is less political and far more esoteric but the two exhibitions go well together.